When nature awakens, we all know that it is time for eggs. Eggs are the symbol of all spring celebrations, in all religions.
The habit of cracking dyed boiled eggs at Nevruz in Central Asia and Iran is identical to that of Easter in Christian cultures. The Seder table for Pesah (Passover) is unimaginable without the boiled eggs, deeply colored in an earthy brownish tint with onion skins. In Assyrian belief, eggs symbolize the universe.
Once upon a time, eggs were, of course, not abundant year round. In the past there were strictly seasons for many foods that are now available the whole year. Chickens too had their seasons, freely wondering around, not fed in caged and closed environments.
Unlike the battery chickens of today, they knew when it was day or night, whether it was winter or spring. They knew when it was time to lay an egg. After letting a few chicks survive during the Lenten period when all meat, dairy and animal products are not eaten, it was time to feast on many eggs collected during the fasting days. Abstaining from meat, dairy and eggs is a total spring cleaning program, wisely advised by religion, in a way, a perfect detox to get ready for the trials of the summer months.
The Lenten detox really makes one fit and clean. After being fully energized one is ready for a final protein boost. Easter is the occasion with a full feast of protein-laden egg and roasted lamb dishes. Easter is also about milk, butter and cream, abundant in spring months. It sometimes feels like these religious festivals are actually wisely planned food programs, all meticulously crafted for public health. If you really follow the Eastern Orthodox Church, one needs to fast almost half the year, or again abstain from certain foods like meat, eggs and dairy on certain days. Such careful planning can only serve to maintain good health, and makes one more appreciative of basic foods like eggs and milk. Nowadays, many people observe Lent to abstain from sweets or chocolate, but that misses the whole point about it, and shouldn’t be the case. It is all about a complete detox, including the alcohol. If one really adheres to the rules, the reward is definite. If not for detox, fasting surely makes one more thankful for the bounty of nature and enjoy a good feast!